The 20 most influential people in field service: 2015 edition

Across December and January we asked our readers to nominate candidates for the inaugural #FSN20, a list of the twenty most influential people in field service. We received nominations from across the globe through social media, email and even a phone call or two directly into the news-desk.


Armed with a list of candidates, a Field Service News panel selected the final list of twenty based on the number of nominations, their impact on the industry (past, present and future) and their sphere of influence in both the physical and digital world.


After much long deliberation, heartfelt debate (read arguing) and enormous amounts of coffee we managed to whittle our list down to a final twenty which we pleased to present to you here the inaugural edition of the #FSN20. You may not agree with our selection and if you don’t tell us, tell your friends, tell your colleagues, hell tell the world – because at the heart of it that’s what this list is all about, getting people talking about excellence in field service and raising the profile of those leading us to a better future.


We will be announcing who made the list in alphabetical order in four sections across the next four days. So without further ado we are pleased to bring you the first five of the #FSN20



Colin Brown, Managing Director, Tesseract


Every generation or so a company will pioneer a new approach and then when they start to get some traction everyone else follow’s suit. Service Management Software company Tesseract under Brown’s long standing direction happen to have been that company twice, being the first company to launch a Service Management solution firstly for Windows and secondly in the Cloud.


If they head off in a new direction again I’d suggest paying attention.



Professer Tim Baines, Aston University


Co-Author of “Made to Serve” and also Director of the Aston Centre for Servitization Research and Practice, Baines is one of the leading figureheads for the servitization movement, which could have an incredible impact on how field service operates for companies that adopt this approach.


An engaging and passionate speaker, with unbridled passion for his topic, Baines is one of the most significant figures in what is potentially one of the most significant industrial concepts in the twenty-first century.



John Carroll, CEO, The Service Council


As founder of The Service Council Carroll’s impact on the field service industries stretches far beyond their home shores of the U.S. and right across the globe.


Having rapidly evolved from a good idea to a community spanning across 6 continents and representation in more than 30 countries, Carroll finds himself spearheading one of the most influential groups dedicated to field service in the world.



Alastair Clifford-Jones, Managing Director, Leadent Solutions


For perhaps too long Leadent Solutions have been one of the industry’s best secrets as Clifford-Jones has quietly built his managing consultancy with a team that, unlike some of his better known competitors, is populated with people who have worked in similar roles for their clients –so they inherently ‘get it’.


Therefore, it is not surprising that they are putting together an enviable track record of working with some big names and I think soon many more are set to follow.



Sumair Dutta, CCO, The Service Council


In his previous role with Aberdeen Dutta headed up the organisation’s Customer Experience and Service Management Group and was a significant key figure in the launch of Aberdeen’s Chief Service Officer Summit Series.


Now in his role as Chief Customer Officer for The Service Council Dutta is one of the most widely seen commentators on the industry.

He also has field service’s best avatar.



Professor Elgar Fleisch, University of St. Gallen


With an extensive academic background that covers mechanical engineering, business economics and artificial intelligence, Fleisch has both an extensive understanding of how technology can influence business and an international reputation to match that understanding.


He has focused his research on the joining of the physical and digital worlds since the very birth of the Internet of Things and is, thus, highly regarded in the sphere.


It is likely no coincidence that his presence on the executive board of CoreSystems coincides with the rapid rise of the Swiss field service management software provider, whose field service offering was the first product of its type to start taking advantage of IoT.



Dave Hart, VP of Global Customer Transformation, ServiceMax


Another of those on our list who has worked their way upwards from field service engineer; in fact, Hart has taken most of the steps on the ladder.


From Service Engineer to VP of Service, from managing small regional teams through to managing thousands of engineers across Europe, he’s been there and done it. With this background there is an unbridled wealth of experience that Hart is able to share.


Therefore it was a great move by ServiceMax in employing him to help share that experience and deep understanding of field service with their expanding customer base.


Martin Hotass, General Manager, Siemens Professional Education


One of the biggest risks field service faces is an ageing workforce and Siemens is one company at the forefront of tackling this problem head on.


Hotass is not only leading the charge, engaging with students and colleagues alike, but in speaking to him, he is truly passionate about bringing the best young talent not only to Siemens but also to the industry in general.


If field service is going to overcome the significant issue of replacing the current workforce successfully we need more with Hotass’ dedication to the task.



Professor Howard Lightfoot, Cranfield University


Co-author on ”Made to Serve” and another significant figure in the servitization movement. However, Lightfoot’s inclusion within the list is more based on his current work at Cranfield University where he is playing an instrumental role in educating the next generation of engineers via the use of some truly groundbreaking technology.


With the field service industries facing a very real crisis of an ageing workforce, the work Lightfoot is currently performing could have a profound impact on the ability of field service companies to survive this crisis with minimal impact.



Mynul Khan, Founder, Field Nation


The shift away from traditional work contracts to outsourcing to local contractors has an obvious appeal for field service organisations and Field Nation, a product of Khan’s own vision, is a perfect tool for facilitating this in the twenty-first century. Dubbed an ‘ebay for field workers’ Field Nation connects workers with contractors across the U.S.


Whether such a solution could work in the multi-language, cross-border regulation framework of Europe is yet to be seen, but the rapid adoption of Field Nation suggests that there is certainly a market in the home shores at least.


William McNeil, Principal Analyst, Gartner


Gartner, alongside Aberdeen, remains one of the most influential organisations in the field service industry. Their Field Service Magic Quadrant report, which outlines which organisations are leading the way in terms of innovation in field service technology, is hotly anticipated and widely quoted each year.


McNeill, who co-authored the most recent report alongside Gartner colleagues Michael Moaz and Jason Wong, has extensive experience analyzing the latest developments across predictive support, remote service monitoring, service parts planning and optimization, and warranty management and is a regular commentator on the field service industries whose work is widely respected.



Peter Molyneux, UK President, Getac


Rugged manufacturer ,Getac, has not only managed to develop one of the rugged spaces most consumer feeling tablets last year grasping the consumerisation nettle with both hands, but unlike some of their competitors, they have continued to invest in rugged laptops acknowledging the niche they serve – i.e., in some corners of field service where heavy data input is required, a tablet screen just doesn’t cut it.


In Molyneux, they have a man who not only fully understands his product set, but also his customer base, and is about as well versed in all things rugged as anyone on the planet.




Professor Andy Neely, Director, Cambridge Alliance


Another of the key figures within the growing movement of ‘servitization’ which could have a massive impact on the operation of field service.


Having held appointments at Cranfield University, London Business School and Cambridge University, Neely is widely recognized for his work on the servitization of manufacturing, as well as his work on performance measurement and management.


His organisation continues to work with leading companies such as IBM and BAE on research into ways to provide, implement and employ complex new service systems.




Sarah Nicastro, Editor-in-chief,  Field Technologies Online


Whilst here at FSN Towers we think we’ve done a pretty good job of reporting on the tends and technologies of the Field Service industries over the last year. We’re humble enough to admit that we’re the young upstarts and we are very much walking a path led by our U.S. cousins at Field Technologies Online.


Having been at the helm for half a decade, a large slice of the credit goes to Nicastro for the respected position the magazine holds today both in their native America and beyond.




Laurent Othacehe, Director, Cognito


Othacehe is internationally regarded as a guru when it comes to scheduling and optimization, a reputation fully deserved after founding 360 Scheduling. The company, whose scheduling engine was built upon research with Nottingham University to establish effective scheduling for the emergency services, was later acquired by Service Management heavyweight IFS.


Unlike many who would have perhaps taken the easy life after building such a success with 360, Othacehe’s passion for the industry was evident when he returned to the market with Cognito – and his acceptance of therole there was seen by many in the industry as a significant endorsement as well as a statement of ambition for the UK-based company.



Aly Pinder, Senior Research Analyst, Aberdeen


One of the most prolific authors in the industry and also one of the nicest guys in Field Service to boot. Pinder had more nominations for this list than any other candidate, which speaks volumes.


Having written or co-authored over 50 research reports, and benchmarked more than 4,000 service executives across 5 years with Aberdeen, he writes and speaks with authority and understanding and is widely respected across the market.



Bill Pollock, President and Principal Consulting Analyst, Strategies For Growth


Pollock is one of the industry’s most respected authors and commentators with a long and distinguished career focused on field service.


Having worked for Gartner, Aberdeen and been a founding partner of The Service Council, his analysis is highly sought after and he has authored some of the most detailed research available in the industry. His white papers, blogs and posts are widely read across the globe.



Hilbrand Rustema, Managing Director, Noventum Service Management


Co-author of seminal service book, “Service Economics” and managing director of one of Europe’s most prominent Service Management consultancies, Noventum Service Management, Rustema has been at the heart of evolving service thinking across the continent for many years and remains at the forefront of the sector today.



Steve Street, IT Security & Infrastructure Architect, IBM


Steve Street, IT Security/Infrastructure Architect, IBM – In a long industrious career with computing giants IBM Steve has been an excellent servant to service science. He has worked with many of the key leaders and thinkers in this area including Professors Irene Ng, Scott Sampson and fellow Cambridge University Alumni Andy Neely on a wide range of initiatives to unite academia, government and industry in the development and promotion of service science as a discipline.


He remains a key figure in the evolution of the area and his work is shaping the way leading organisations are seeking to deliver services.




Martin Summerhayes, Head of Strategy and Business Development, Fujitsu


One of a few on the list that started their a career as a service engineer, Summerhayes’ career has been quite remarkable.


He was the man who devised HP’s service strategy which became a billion dollar proposition, he has advised London’s Metropolitan police force working with local and national government, paramilitary and commercial companies, before taking on his current role as Head of Strategy for Fujitsu. And he still finds time to take a proactive role in promoting service excellence in the UK nonprofit group, The Service Community.



Special Mention – Steve Downton, Downton Consulting


Whilst Downton sadly passed away in 2013 his long-standing legacy remains both in the approach he developed to service as outlined in the book, ”Service Economics”, which he co-authored with Hilbrand Rustema and Jan Van Veen, as well as in the non-profit organisation he created, ”The Service Community”, which continues to operate as a significant organisation dedicated to sharing best practices amongst service companies operating the UK.

Steve’s impact on the field service industries will be long felt.


#FSN20 is an annual celebration of excellence, innovation and leadership shaping the global field service sector. This content is proudly sponsored by Salesforce.

#FSN20 is an annual celebration of excellence, innovation and leadership shaping the global field service sector. This content is proudly sponsored by Salesforce.

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